Veterans and Supporters Individual Accomplishment

These individuals are some of the most exemplary representatives of the veteran community, able to bridge the gap between the veteran and civilian population by educating and increasing the understanding between them. These individuals work to make the veteran experience a reality, and have dedicated their careers to pursuing their goals, achieving great success and recognition in all of their endeavors.

Eric Greitens

Newly elected Governor of Missouri, Eric Greitens, is a modern day renaissance man. Accomplished boxer, Rhodes Scholar, published photographer, New York Times best selling author, Navy SEAL, advocate, humanitarian, father, and husband.  His military awards include the Purple Heart, Bronze Star, Joint Service Achievement Medal, Navy Achievement Medal, and the Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal, among others.

Governor Greitens is also the founder of The Mission Continues, a national nonprofit dedicated to empowering veterans who are adjusting to life at home to find purpose through community impact by deploying veterans on new missions in their communities, so that their actions will inspire future generations to serve.

@ericgreitens

Michael Schlitz

After 14 years of service, Michael Schlitz medically retired from the United States Army in March of 2010. Throughout his military career, he served in several positions from Rifleman to Platoon Sergeant. In addition to his Purple Heart, Schlitz has received several Meritorious Service Medals, Army Commendation Medals, Army Achievement Medals, and Good Conduct Awards among others, each a reflection of his proud service to our country.

In February of 2007, Schlitz and his platoon were in Southern Baghdad performing a basic road-clearing mission to identify Improvised Explosive Devices (IED’s) when two artillery shells attached to a propane tank exploded. Though Schlitz was thrown from the vehicle and survived, the blast killed his driver, gunner and medic. Schlitz not only lost his platoon brothers that day, he also sustained burns on 85% of his body, lost the vision in his left eye and both of his hands. In the years following that life-altering moment, Schlitz has personally committed to “live a better life for the friends he lost that day; a life they would be proud of.”

In his mission to give back to Veteran and Ranger Communities, Schlitz regularly travels the country for speaking engagements and Veteran events. Since the injury, he has returned to Iraq three times to mentor wounded and non-wounded veterans, supported the establishment of several new non-profit organizations, became an Ambassador with the Gary Sinise Foundation, and had the honor of speaking at two US Army Ranger Graduations. Schlitz will continue his quest until every service member comes home safely. It’s a demanding quest, but he’s claimed he will “gladly carry that torch.”

Ryan Taylor

Wiz Khalifa, Chris Brown, and Tyga might all be found sporting gear from Ryan Taylor, Army veteran and Creative Director at Ryan Knew. Ryan took the fashion industry by storm when he presented his Autumn/ Winter 2016 collection that combined modern street style, military experience and high fashion. His military experience influences outerwear pieces like the bomber jacket to the way items are sewn, constructed, and can be seen in the deep green hues, tan under lays, camouflage, and distinct military tailoring of his clothing. His “Full Metal Jacket” collection is a direct reworking of an old CBRN defense suit.

Learn more about his clothing HERE

Earl Granville

Earl Granville is a nine year veteran under the Pennsylvania Army National Guard as an infantryman. During his time in the service Granville served in support of Operation Joint Forge in Bosnia, Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan.

In the summer of 2008 while on a patrol in Zormat, Afghanistan, his vehicle was hit by a roadside bomb which resulted in the amputation of his left leg through the knee. His comrades, Major Scott Hagerty of Stillwater, Oklahoma and Specialist Derek Holland of Wind Gap, Pennsylvania were killed in action. After his injury, Earl found himself competing in many sports as an adaptive athlete such as Mono-ski, Sled Hockey, GoRuck endurance Challenges and Spartan Races. He is a Team Member for the veteran run and owned non-profit Operation Enduring Warrior, and the lead ambassador of the veteran founded clothing line, Oscar Mike. Since his injury, he has competed in the Boston, Detroit, Chicago, New York and Marine Corps Marathon all on a hand bicycle, has run two half marathons alongside OEW, is a finisher of the 2016 Bataan Death Memorial March, and has completed the Spartan Agoge – a 60 hour endurance event.

Earl travels across the country speaking to service members and veterans about the importance of finding help for mental distress after the passing of his twin brother, Staff Sergeant Joseph Granville, who took his own life December of 2010 while still on Active Duty. Earl is enrolled at the University of Scranton for Counseling & Human Services. He medically retired from the army holding the rank of Staff Sergeant earning military awards such as the Combat Infantryman Badge and Purple Heart.

Sarah Klein

Sarah Klein is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma and has been crowned Miss Oklahoma 2016.  Klein has spent 11 years supporting  servicemen through a variety of organizations including The Hugs Project, Makeovers that Matter, The Tulsa Workforce and the USO.  Moreover, Klein has made “Supporting Our Troops from Deployment to Employment” her platform as Miss Oklahoma.  Klein has made a significant impact within the military community by raising over $155,000 and collecting over 30,000 items to send in care packages to those deployed overseas.  She continues to stay involved and advocate the importance of taking care of those serving the United States.